Over the past year or so, our EC team has grown closer than ever. Though we’ve been working remotely for so long now, we’ve somehow connected more, shared more, and learned more from one another. It’s true, the strain of the times has brought us closer together—not just through challenges but also through celebrating … from small victories to big product launches to month-long cultural celebrations!

Today, as we continue to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, some of our team members share about the pride, joy, and connection they feel to their AAPI culture and community. It’s touching; it’s real, and it’s inspiring.

Aimée Suen, Creative Product + Content Strategist, D&I Council Co-Chair

I love that food is an Asian love language. It doesn’t matter what country in Asia your family comes from or the exact dishes. We instinctively connect by sitting around a table and eating good food, encouraging others to have another helping and bickering over who pays the check or takes home the leftovers.

When I’m enjoying food with other Asian folks, I feel my Chinese family there with me too, and I’m reminded that I’m never truly alone.

Chalise Varner, Lead Creative Designer 

Growing up as a queer Asian American who is also mixed was never something I could categorize as easy. I have had many obstacles in my life that I have had to overcome in order to achieve my dreams, but I could have never gotten that strength without my mother. As a Korean immigrant, she came to America with little knowledge of the culture and language. Yet, she was still able to teach me resilience, hard work, and kindness because they are universal. We are all united in love.

Jenny Chock, Senior Creative Designer 

As a Japanese, Hawaiian, and Chinese woman, I’ve found it difficult to feel a sense of belonging. One thing that has connected me to my heritage is spending a Summer with my Popo in Hawaii. She taught me Hawaiian words, lei making, origami crafting, and cooking traditional food. During my time with her, I also realized I inherited my creativity from her. I come from a long line of left-brained thinkers so I had constantly questioned where I fit in even within my own family. Learning from her that Summer and knowing that she was a creator as well, was one of the most comforting feelings. That was the moment I had finally felt home.

Jenny Mendoza, Art Director, Retail

Leaving the Philippines- their homes, family, and friends, for the unknown? I often think about the courage and strength my Mom and Dad had to have to make that leap, and I always admired that about them. I am thankful they were able to bring so much of the Philippines to our home, whether I experienced it through language, food, karaoke/music, and long nights playing mahjongg with friends and family. Growing up as a first-generation Filipino-American, I am so lucky, thankful, and proud to have been a product of two diverse cultures. 🇵🇭 🇺🇸

Phi LeQuoc, Sr. CRM Manager

I come from a long line of strong women who forged a new path for themselves and their families. My grandmother was shy of 5 feet tall yet was a force of nature. She started a famous restaurant in Saigon that included a custom oven that she designed to cook the food she wanted to serve. 

Her ingenuity and resourcefulness are in my DNA. Her recipes are in my hands. Through highs and lows, our family celebrates our survival through food. Food is what binds our family then and now; it’s how we show our love for each other.

Stephanie Chang, Brand Partnerships & Events, Sr. Manager

As an Asian immigrant myself and the daughter of immigrant parents, I’d never known how much sacrifice my parents had to make. Moving to a new country at a young age to make sure I have the opportunities and choices that weren’t provided for them is a type of selfless resilience and strength. 

I AM that resilience and strength, to always stand for what I believe is right, just, and not put up with any form of bullying. Asian hate has no place in this world, not in MY world either.

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